Minimalist soundscapes: inner chaos, calm and noise

May 2, 2024

Album cover, ‘nymphaea’, created by AliceN

AliceN invites you to share their ambient music, a reflection of identity in sound

My album ‘nymphaea’ is an exploration of my identity and growth. Nymphaea is a genus of plants which includes water lilies. I chose this because water lilies are tender but also sturdy and able to withstand obstacles. They symbolise strength, resilience, and rebirth, reflecting themes of hope and peace. I also chose it because it comes from Greek, creating a theme across the album; songs like icarian referring to the myth of Icarus and μανία (mania).

Most of the album is ambient with quiet electronica, only interrupted by bursts of noise and ethereal shoegaze, representing the importance of growth and accepting unexpected change, even if it can seem daunting.

Every song touches on a different aspect of personal growth and self-discovery. As a young person who is part of the lgbtq+ community and navigating my identity, I found solace in creating the ethereal sounds of ambient music. ‘imitated’, the second track on the album, is about losing connections with people in your life, when the fairy tales said they’d last forever.

The ambient sounds mirror the delicate balance of forming connections amid uncertainty, inviting listeners to fully contemplate trust and authenticity in relationships while also capturing my own emotions.

Meanwhile, songs like ‘dancing in pink circles’, the last song of the album, symbolises both a social connection with those around you (circles, circle dances) and love for oneself (pink). To dance in pink circles feels hopeful and ecstatic, yet calm and measured while being carefree. Circles are endless and allow for continuous movement, so even though the ending and first tracks are completely different they eventually blend together. This reflects the album itself, as the first half is darker while the latter half grows more hopeful.

‘starduster’ was created with my lovely friend Itayt. It helped us connect over shared emotions

The album cover is created with a combination of two old pictures, one of my cat and one of me. I saw them as a way to understand my past and learn from it. The little boxes in the artwork represent memories and the outside, looking like space and rain whirled together, represents the chaos of external forces. This is in contrast to the tranquility of my internal experience learning to deal with change.

This idea is specifically present in the song ‘starduster’ (in the eye of the storm) which I created with my lovely friend Itayt. It helped in connecting over our shared emotional experiences.

In addition, the titles of songs usually contain at least two different meanings. The song ‘matter’ can be interpreted as both existence and the importance of existence, and ‘daytodayto’ can be read as a loop, or read in other ways like ‘today today’, symbolising repetition and searching for a way out of a cycle. The next track ‘dragonflies’ can be interpreted as a way to break this cycle through connecting with nature.

I started this project in March 2023 and finished it in the December after many refinements and listens.

Thank you and I hope you enjoy my album which you can find here on Linktree (which contains streaming platforms like Spotify, Apple Music and more).

Here is some more artwork inspired by ‘nymphaea’ album

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